Is your vehicle HOT, HOT, HOT? It just might be according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau's (NICB) Annual Hot Wheels report, listed below. Take a look; you might be very surprised to see which automobiles thieves are going for and which they are not.
Curious why older models top the list over newer, flashier vehicles? "Older cars are often stolen because the parts for these models start to become harder and harder to come by, making the pieces more profitable for thieves. This is why we often see a clustering effect with the same make and style of vehicles being stolen year after year," states one NICB official. "Vehicle thieves also follow market trends and target the most popular vehicles because they provide the best market for stolen vehicle parts and illegal export to other countries."Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles:
Vehicle Theft and the Impact it has on your Auto Insurance Premium
You might be wondering what effect reports like this have on your auto insurance rate. "Many insurance companies set their auto insurance rates according to the industry's loss history," says Lou Geremia, President of Insurance.com. "As a result, vehicles that have a high-theft risk will more than likely be charged a higher auto insurance rate. However, many insurance companies offer discounts for automatic antitheft devices, which can help keep your auto insurance rate down."
Tips to Help Guard Your Wheels
To help shield your vehicle from being stolen, the NICB encourages everyone to follow its "layered approach" to auto theft protection by employing simple, low-cost suggestions to make your car less attractive to thieves. These four layers of protection include:
Layer #1 - Common Sense
An unlocked vehicle with the key in the ignition is an open invitation to any thief, regardless of which anti-theft device you use. It is always best to lock your car even if you are only parked for a brief period of time.
Layer #2 - Warning Device
Having a visible or audible device that alerts thieves that your vehicle is protected is another good way to ensure that your car remains where you left it. Popular second layer devices include:
- Audible alarms
- Steering column collars
- Steering wheel/Brake pedal lock
- Brake locks
- Wheel locks
- Tire locks/Tire deflators
- Theft deterrent decals
- Identification markers in or on vehicle
- Window etching
- Laminated glass
Layer #3 - Immobilizing Device
Another good method is having a device that prevents thieves from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some of these electronic gadgets have computer chips in the ignition keys. Others inhibit the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine until a hidden button or switch is activated. Recommended third layer devices include:
- Smart keys
- Fuse cut-offs
- Kill switches
- Starter, ignition and fuel disablers
Layer # 4 - Tracking Device
The most effective safeguard against car thieves is the vehicle-tracking device. A tracking system emits a signal to your local police station or monitoring station once the vehicle has been reported stolen. Tracking devices, such as OnStar, are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles.
If by chance your vehicle does get stolen, you will want to contact your local police department immediately. Make sure to have the following information on hand:
Next, you will need to contact your auto insurance company. To help expedite your claim make sure to have your policy number and details of the incident ready to give your auto insurance agent. Typically insurance companies have up to 30 days to settle a stolen vehicle claim.
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